SAN DIEGO, Calif – The Toreros women’s tennis team (2-1) opens WCC play this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. against the Pacific Tigers (2-2).
LAST TIME OUT: USD fell to No. 22 Kentucky, 4-1, last weekend at home. Shani Blecher earned the Toreros’ point in the No. 5 singles spot with a 6-3, 7-6(0) victory over Akvilė Para?inskaitė.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific faced three teams in Las Vegas, Nev. last week and came away with a 2-1 record for the weekend. On Friday they pounced on Weber State to earn a 7-0 win followed by a 5-2 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday. On Sunday the Tigers fell to UNLV 5-2.
The Tigers were selected to finish ninth in this year’s WCC preseason poll, two spots behind the Toreros. Last season Pacific finished eighth in the WCC with an 8-13 record, 2-7 in WCC.
The Toreros and Tigers last met in the WCC Championships in April of 2015 where USD played their way to a 4-2 victory. All-time the teams have split the series 5-5.
Pacific boasts a young roster with six freshmen and only one senior. Freshman Viktoriya Dzyuba has a 4-0 record in the No. 1 spot for the Tigers while fellow newcomer Maayan Sela has the same mark in the No. 4 slot.
HOME COOKING: The Toreros open their spring season with nine of their first 11 matches scheduled at home. USD’s two road matches come February 12-13 at Arizona and Arizona State, the alma maters of Head Coach Stephens (Arizona) and Assistant Coach Nadia Abdala (Arizona State).
LEADING THE CHARGE: At the top of the Toreros line-up is senior Marta Stojanovic. The senior behavioral science major from Belgrade, Serbia has been a leader on and off the court for the Toreros. She is a two-time WCC All-Academic honoree and has been a part of the WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll all three years.
Fellow senior Dana Oppinger is another highlight on Head Coach Sherri Stephens’ squad. Oppinger transferred to USD last season after spending two years at Marshall University. In her first year in the WCC she and doubles partner Drew Spinosa earned All-WCC Honorable Mention.
MEET THE COACH: Sherri Stephens enters her 32nd year with the Toreros and has amassed 362 wins at USD. Stephens has led the Toreros to 11 NCAA Tournament Appearances and has coached 12 Division I All-Americans.
In 1999 Stephens guided National Singles Champion and National Player of the Year Zuzana Lesenarova.
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